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Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Sunday, 20 July 2008 17:58 UK

Ogbuke released for Olympics

Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke
Nigeria's Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke is likely to go to the Olympics

German club Hoffenheim say their Nigerian striker Chinedu Obasi Obguke will be allowed to take part in next month's Olympics Games.

Hoffenheim were reluctant to release the player saying that he is too important to their first-ever campaign in the Bundesliga, which kicks off on 16 August.

But after unsubstantiated threats of attack against his family, Hoffenheim general manager Jan Schindelmeiser says Ogbuke will be allowed to play in Beijing.

"The pressure exercised by the player and his family in Nigeria took on such proportions over the last few days that we could no longer ignore the question," Schindelmeiser said.

Despite allowing the 22-year-old to join the national team, Hoffenheim say they will impose strict conditions on their striker.

One of those will see him obliged to return to Germany the day after Nigeria's last game in the Olympics competition.

Obasi scored 12 goals in 27 matches in the German second division last season.

Several German clubs, including Werder Bremen, Schalke 04 and Hertha Berlin, are refusing to free their players for the Olympics because the Bundesliga season gets underway on August 15.

Werder Bremen, who are refusing to free Brazilian Diego, have been assured of the backing of the German football federation (DFB).

If Diego, 23, has accepted Werder Bremen's decision, compatriot Rafinha, 22, has threatened not to return to training with his club Schalke 04.


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